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UK bread shortage warning: Supermarket crisis now 'almost inevitable' – bakers sound alarm

As inflation rates in UK reached a 40-year high at 9 percent, with energy bills and prices of essential supplies surging, Britons are now faced with food shortages. The paralysed agricultural sector of Ukraine, one of the top global exporters of wheat and sunflower oil, has sent prices of multiple products on an unprecedented hike.

Wheat prices in Europe have jumped 74 percent while benchmark palm oil futures went up 24 percent since January, according to Reuters, with the crisis sparking protests in several countries.

But the UK Federation of Bakers warns that the war, which has been going on for over two months, could even mean that soon, fewer bread products will be available in the UK.

The Federation stressed there are no immediate shortages of core ingredients for bread recorded, but prices will continue to go up as a result of the crisis.

And as the effects of the war continue, a reduction in the products made available on the shelves is “inevitable”.

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Andrew Pyne, the Chief Executive of the federation said that the UK is currently covered from its own supply of last seasons wheat harvest.

Mr Pyne told “The bakery industry proved itself to be hugely resilient during the Covid pandemic with unprecedented demand during lockdown.

“Bakers are working tirelessly to continue to safeguard bread availability, but a reduction in the wide variety of products is almost inevitable if impacts of the war continue.”

The head of the UK’s bakers said that the currently remaining supply of the country includes small volumes of wheat from Canada and the EU which supplement the UK harvest.

But the bread products will become more and more expensive, the executive said.

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He noted: “The Ukraine conflict has pushed up global wheat prices further, which were already at some of the highest levels ever seen.

“Producers are doing all they can to contain bread pricing, but wheat pricing will remain a risk and increased costs will unfortunately need to be passed on to consumers.”

And added: “Bakery input costs of key commodities including wheat, raw materials, energy and labour costs have all continued to surge.

“It’s expected that the industry will need to pass these costs on to consumers, with retailers controlling the timing and size of these rises.

“A typical white loaf has gone up by 5.5 percent (ONS) since the beginning of the year, with future increases unavoidable.”



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